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Skiing in Japan With Kids: Top 7 Tips for Enjoying a Family Ski Holiday

Skiing in Japan With Kids: Top 7 Tips for Enjoying a Family Ski Holiday

Date published: 29 December 2017
Last updated: 16 November 2020

Skiing in Japan with kids is a lot of fun! Winter is a great time not only for adults but especially for the little ones. Snowmen, sleds, and skiing and snowboarding are fun activities that make every holiday a special memory.

Ski resorts in Japan have an extensive program for children of all ages, such as snow parks to play and sled, to actual lessons, but also daycare and indoor playgrounds. Here we'll introduce some of the things to look out for when skiing in Japan with kids.

Table of Contents
  1. 1. Skiing and Snowboarding Lessons
  2. 2. Skiing in Japan With Kids? Children Get Their Own Area!
  3. 3. Don't Miss The Activity Programs!
  4. 4. Have a Break at the Indoor Playgrounds
  5. 5. Want to Enjoy Your Own Runs? Check Out the Childcare Services!
  6. 6. Daycare Centers Are Often Available Too
  7. 7. Gear Rentals Are Fine, But Don't Forget The Basics!
  8. Skiing in Japan With Kids: Fun for the Whole Family!

1. Skiing and Snowboarding Lessons

1. Skiing and Snowboarding Lessons

If your kids are keen on gliding over the snow themselves, a lot of resorts in Japan provide extensive options to let them do just that. Kids’ lessons and ski schools usually have several classes divided by age and skill level, so learning and skiing are done in a group, and this even more fun!

One thing to note, though, is that there will be many other families looking to sign their own kids up for lessons, so it's best to make reservations as far ahead of time as you can. At many of the larger ski areas, lessons will be available in English, however if you're in any doubt, be sure to ask the facility.

2. Skiing in Japan With Kids? Children Get Their Own Area!

2. Skiing in Japan With Kids? Children Get Their Own Area!

The kids’ park is a special area at many resorts exclusively for children and families. Fenced off from the regular piste, kids can play in the snow to their heart’s desire, use sleds and tubes to play, and some resorts even offer snow striders. Sometimes, there’s even a fun snow lift that helps to ascend the gentle slope. At certain resorts, these kids’ parks are entirely for free, while elsewhere they cost a small fee.

3. Don't Miss The Activity Programs!

3. Don't Miss The Activity Programs!

Sometimes, so-called activity programs can be booked for children who don’t come along on the pistes. They usually include fun things such as a stroll through the wintery forest, playing in the snow, or even ride snowmobiles. It’s a wonderful choice that offers a lot of things to do besides sledding and playing. Be sure to check in with your resort to see what kinds of programs are available!

4. Have a Break at the Indoor Playgrounds

4. Have a Break at the Indoor Playgrounds

When skiing in Japan with kids, you'll know that some children might be a bit too young to be all day out in the snow altogether. For them, indoor playgrounds or at least play equipment is offered to still have a fun day full of adventures and excitement. They’re also great for kids who want to take a break and want to warm up – they can just drop by for an hour or two! Oftentimes, videos and other activities take place here as well.

5. Want to Enjoy Your Own Runs? Check Out the Childcare Services!

5. Want to Enjoy Your Own Runs? Check Out the Childcare Services!

Certain resorts offer a childcare service that offers supervision and lots of fun for the little ones while their parents are on the pistes. This means playing with others, sledding, and all sorts of fun activities under the watchful eye of professional staff.

6. Daycare Centers Are Often Available Too

6. Daycare Centers Are Often Available Too

Similar to these services are daycare centers. Toddlers and very young children will love the activities provided by the full-time staff, such as picture book readings, play time, and much more. Sometimes, playing in the snow is part of it, sometimes it’s entirely indoors. Even lunch may be an option. Keep in mind, however, that daycare centers usually require booking in advance.

7. Gear Rentals Are Fine, But Don't Forget The Basics!

7. Gear Rentals Are Fine, But Don't Forget The Basics!

Ski resorts in Japan typically offer ski rentals for kids as well as adults. But not everything is rentable! While snowsuits and boots are available, smaller items such as gloves, hats, and scarves will often not be available for rent. Be sure to buy basic snow gear in advance in Tokyo or bring it from home. Note that most resorts and resort villages will have an outfitter store, but not all will carry items that are kid-sized.

Also, don't forget to get goggles and sunscreen for your child: the higher elevations and bright snow can be a bit harsh for beginners.

Skiing in Japan With Kids: Fun for the Whole Family!

Skiing and snowboarding in Japan is a unique experience that combines the fun of winter sports with savoring traditional hot spring culture. With the basics covered, check out our other guides on the topic!

Copy: Chiho Kuriyama. Editing by Pamela Drobig and Timothy Sullivan.

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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